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Cantaritos are Mexican tequila cocktails served in clay cups! Similar to the Paloma, this drink stars grapefruit soda and citrus.


Love a good margarita or Paloma? Here’s a Mexican cocktail that you’ll adore: the Cantarito! This tasty tequila drink is similar to a Paloma, but it’s got more citrus juices like orange, lemon and lime juice. Layer it in a traditional Cantaritos clay cup, and the effect is stunning: it’s a light and refreshing drink that tastes even better sipped out of a cold clay rim. Don’t have one? You can serve it in a highball glass too. Either way, this drink is a must-try for tequila lovers!

What are Cantaritos?

The Cantarito (Cantaritos is the plural) is a tequila-based Mexican drink made with orange, lemon, and lime juice and grapefruit soda. It’s traditionally served in a clay cups at restaurants, bars and markets throughout Mexico. It’s similar to a Paloma, with a few added ingredients. The ingredients you’ll need to make Cantaritos are:

  • Tequila
  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Grapefruit soda
  • 1 pinch salt

What’s the difference between a Cantarito vs Paloma? A Paloma mixes tequila, grapefruit soda and lime juice. The Cantarito uses the same ingredients but adds orange juice and lemon juice for an even more nuanced, citrusy flavor. It tastes more complex than a Paloma.

Cantarito drink

More about Cantarito cups

Cantarito cups are the traditional clay cups (jarritos de barro) used for drinking tequila in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. They’re great for drinking straight tequila or other Mexican drinks like Cantaritos or Micheladas. Why drink out of traditional Cantarito cups?

  • The traditional clay cups keep Cantaritos cold. A traditional glass becomes warm in your hands, but the clay Cantarito cups help to keep the drink extra cold.
  • The mouthfeel of the clay cups adds to the experience. The sensation of the chilled clay at the beginning of each sip is much like drinking a Moscow Mule out of a chilled copper mug. It just tastes better!
  • Where to find Cantarito cups? Buy them from artisans online. We bought our Cantarito cups on Etsy.
  • Do you have to soak Cantaritos cups? Soak the clay Cantaritos cups in cold water for 10 minutes before making the drink, which makes for an optimally chilled drink.

Types of grapefruit soda

You can use any type of grapefruit soda for Cantaritos. The most traditional is Squirt soda, which is actually pretty tasty and not too sweet. But there are lots of artisan-style grapefruit sodas available. Here are some options for the soda:

  • Squirt
  • Jarritos Grapefruit Soda
  • Ting
  • Sprindrift
  • Q Mixers
  • Fevertree
  • Sparkling Italian Grapefruit Soda: many stores have brands like Whole Foods, Simple Truth, etc

Types of tequila for Cantaritos

You can make Cantaritos with any type of tequila you have on hand. Just like with a margarita, the flavor changes based on whether you use blanco or resposado tequila. Here’s how the flavor of the drink changes:

  • Tequila blanco: Tequila blanco has not been aged. The flavor is agave forward, with notes of pepper and citrus with a spicy finish. Try Espolon Blanco, El Tesoro Blanco or Patrón Silver.
  • Tequila reposado: is aged 2 to 12 months in oak barrels (reposado means “rested” in Spanish). It has a smooth flavor and notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel. Try Milagro Reposado or Suerte Reposado.

How to make Cantaritos

Once you’ve tracked down your Cantaritos cups, tequila and grapefruit soda, this drink is a breeze to make! Here’s what to do:

  • Soak the Cantaritos cups for 10 minutes. This helps to chill the drink. Or, use a highball glass!
  • Add tequila, orange, lime and lemon juice to the cup. Add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. (Go to the recipe for quantities.)
  • Top off with grapefruit soda. Add some citrus wedges as a garnish.
Cantarito drink

More Mexican cocktails

Cantaritos are one of our favorite Mexican drinks: they’re so light and refreshing. Here are a few more Mexican cocktails to try:

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Cantaritos are Mexican tequila cocktails served in clay cups! Similar to the Paloma, this drink stars grapefruit soda and citrus.


  • 2 ounces* tequila (blanco or reposado)
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 ounces grapefruit soda


  1. If using the traditional clay cup for serving, soak it in cold water for 10 minutes before using. Otherwise, use a highball glass.
  2. Combine the tequila, orange juice, lemon juice and lime juice in the glass with a pinch of salt.
  3. Fill the glass with ice and top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with citrus wedges.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Cantaritos, Cantarito drink

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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